Arepas are the most famous dish in Venezuela. They are quick and so fun to make. Make it an sharing experience with your family, or serve them at a party or at a BBQ.. Your friends will love it..
The Arepa is a small size round bread made with corn flour, water and a bit of salt. basically, you can have it ready in less than 10 minutes.
The Arepas are typically filled with a combination of veggies, shredded meat or shredded chicken. Any filling would work as well.
I always go for my favorite filling - called La Reina Pepiada.
Reina Pepiada means " Curvy Queen " many people attribute it to an international beauty queen as a tribute to her achievements, others attribute the name to a mystical women wearing a dress imprinted with many circles. Long story short: the original Venezuelan recipe of la Reina Pepiada is made with avocado, shredded chicken and mayonnaise. I have added some of my own twists to the already delicious original recipe. the recipe I will share with you with is my own interpretation of la Reina pepiada.
Entonces Vamos ! let's make some Arepas.
Servings: 10 Arepas
Cooking & Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Dietary Restrictions: Gluten-free
Difficulty Level: Easy
First, Le't make La Reina Pepiada then we make the Arepas.
La Reina Pepiada
500g chicken breast
1 small red onion, diced
2 ripe small avocados
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 Chilli Pepper , based on taste ( I like to use thai Chili )
1 bunch of cilantro, minced
juice of 1 lime / or a small lemon
1 tablespoon mayonnaise ( I prefer to omit the mayonnaise personally, avocado makes it creamy enough )
Cut the chicken breasts into small chunks, season with salt and pepper, and cook it on a hot pan for about 9-10 minutes. Cover the pan while cooking to avoid drying the chicken. Another option is to boil the chicken in water, but I prefer to use the pan because it gives the chicken a better taste. You can also cook it in the oven wrapped in foil paper for extra juiciness.
In a large bowl, add diced tomato, diced onion, chopped cilantro, lime juice, chili, and mashed avocado with mashed garlic. Shred the chicken and add it to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Tip: Add 1 tsp of Harissa instead of the Thai chili if you want it tangy and not too spicy.
2 cups of corn flour ( I use a brand called Pam )
2 and 1/2 cups of water
1 tsp of salt
Heat your oven at 100 degrees celsius. Mix your corn flour with Salt. In a large bowl, add water, then gradually pour the flour into the water while stirring with a spatula. Combine well and let it rest for 5 minutes.
The dough could be a bit sticky so it's good wet your hands with a bit of water to be able to shape it.
Take a dollop of the dough into your hands and shape it into a round shape with the help of your palm. Now the trick to give a nice color to the arepas is to pan sear it on each side first, 1 minute each side. After that, put your arepas into the oven to cook for 8-10 minutes. To check for doneness, the arepa should feel a bit like a sponge and when you open it, it will be soft on the inside. have a look at the pictures.
Open the Arepa half way like a sandwich and add your filling. I add a layer of shredded gouda cheese on top for extra taste. I like to immediately try one myself before serving to adjust any seasoning if needed. La Reina Pepiada arepas are my favorite...but there are so many other types and variations of fillings ... it is almost endless. Here are some ideas: 1- Curry Chicken
2- Mushroom Chicken
3- Shredded meat and Bell Peppers
4- Shredded chicken and Bell Peppers
5- Tuna and Avocado
6- Minced meat with Bell Peppers
and the list goes on....
Buen Provecho! Don't forget to share your pics with me on instagram @roguefoodies.
With Love, Maryam the Rogue Foodie